Category Archives: Protests

Children and families ‘Pedal on Parliament’ in their thousands

Thousands protest at Pedal on Parliament (photo by Chris Hill).
Thousands protest at Pedal on Parliament (photo by Chris Hill).

On Saturday, people by their thousands took to the streets of Edinburgh to protest road danger and demand that their elected representatives make substantial changes to the transport infrastructure and laws.

This year’s event came just weeks after the driver of a 55 foot articulated lorry was acquitted of causing the death of Andrew McNicoll as he cycled to work along Lanark Road in January 2012.

This is the third year for the Pedal on Parliament protest – each attracting more people than the previous one. Estimates are that about 4500 people protested this year – many of whom were families: FAMILIES TO THE FORE FOR THE THIRD PEDAL ON PARLIAMENT.


Children address the protesters and politicians at PoP 2014 (photo by Chris Hill).
Children address the protesters and politicians at PoP 2014 (photo by Chris Hill).

One speaker at the protest in front of Holyrood was 8 year old Daniel Brennan who told the crowd:

“I’d love to be able to go for a bike ride without going in the car to cycle with my family. It would be great if Scotland was like Amsterdam where everyone can cycle with their friends.”

7 year old Katharine Dorman demanded:

“Let’s make Scotland a cycle friendly country!”

And 11 year old Kyle Thomas said:

“I believe cycling is the future for Scotland… Cycling down the high street I thought to myself that this is how cycling should be, there wasn’t a single car on the road but lots of cyclists as it should be.”


Transport Minister Keith Brown at Pop 2014 (photo by Chris Hill).
Transport Minister Keith Brown at Pop 2014 (photo by Chris Hill).

The growing visibility meant that government could no longer ignore the voices being raised: Transport Minister Keith Brown attended the protest to defend his government’s policies.

He announced £4.5 million over 2 years for promoting cycling training.

Not surprisingly, the organisers were quick to point out that:

…educating children to cycle on the road is not the best use of money, compared with starting to invest in a cycling network where they can actually be safe, and more importantly feel safe, as they get around on two wheels.

There’s no training in the world that will guarantee a child’s safety around HGVs and fast-moving cars – and as long as children need to mix in traffic to ride their bikes, then parents will be reluctant to give them the freedom to ride.

Thankfully, that message is being heard and taken on board by a growing number of politicians – the organisers are continuously updating their list of supportive MSPs and quotes: POLITICAL RESPONSES.

Keith Brown, the Transport Minister, addressed the crowd at PoP and said in part:

“We are making progress on infrastructure with more than £32 million spent on infrastructure… It will take time for Scotland to become as safe as Amsterdam. We have to change driver behaviour as well… we need to have the same attitudes as Scandinavian countries aiming towards zero deaths.”


The protest was front page news and received wide coverage in the media – a full list is being updated by the PoP organisers: MEDIA COVERAGE.

The BBC gave it headline coverage on their TV broadcast and news website: Thousands take part in Pedal on Parliament event in Edinburgh.

The organisers continue to post updates using their Twitter account: @PoPScotland. Their website is at PEDALONPARLIAMENT.ORG


Lynne marches in Pedal on Parliament 2014.
Lynne marches with councillors and MSPs in Pedal on Parliament 2014.

A leading campaigner for reducing road danger is the step-mum, Lynne, and father, Ian, of Andrew McNicoll – who was killed in a collision with a 55ft long articulated lorry in Edinburgh as he commuted to work on his bicycle.

The driver of the lorry was recently acquitted of causing his death: Man cleared over death of cyclist Andrew McNicoll.

Lynne wrote on her blog (HERE) following the PoP 2014 protest:

“it was so good to see politicians in some numbers with us: MSP Alison Johnstone, Cllr Cameron Rose, Transport Minister Keith Brown, Cllr Andrew Burns.

I asked the crowd and I ask you too now – if your politician was there, thank them and if they weren’t there please do write to them and tell them what we want:

No more cyclist deaths;

Better infrastructure;

Presumed liability;

for anyone of any age to cycle safely.

A time-lapse photo of people cycling to the protest is HERE.

Pedal on Parliament 2014 ~ Scotland

Third Pedal on Parliament announced for Saturday 26th April 2014

People gather on the Meadows for start of PoP 2013 (photo by allebong on flickr)
People gather on the Meadows for start of PoP 2013 (photo by allebong on flickr)

April this year will once again see Edinburgh’s streets taken over by a colourful mass of cyclists of all shapes and sizes calling for a cycle-friendly Scotland.

Pedal on Parliament (“PoP”), the grass-roots organisation which brought 4000 demonstrators to Holyrood last year, from children on balance bikes to champion cyclist Graeme Obree, have announced their third mass protest ride on the Scottish Parliament on Saturday the 26th of April.

Graeme Obree makes his point (photo by Anthony Robson on flickr)
Graeme Obree makes his point (photo by Anthony Robson on flickr)

People will be gathering at noon at the Meadows for a minute’s silence to remember those killed on Scotland’s roads and then riding down the Royal Mile to call on politicians to support the PoP manifesto for safer cycling.

This will be a light-hearted occasion, but with a serious purpose.

Last year saw 12 cyclists killed in Scotland, the highest number for several years, and 2014 has already seen three cyclists die, the most recent only this week.

Organiser Kim Harding with Ian Fyfe, widower of Audrey Fyfe (photo by Anthony Robson on flickr)
Organiser Kim Harding with Ian Fyfe, widower of Audrey Fyfe (photo by Anthony Robson on flickr)

Meanwhile the latest census figures show that the Scottish government is far behind on its target to see 10% of journeys by bike by 2020 – in the last decade, the percentage commuting to work by bike has risen only 0.1% to 1.6%.

The organisers believe that without real and sustained investment in cycling and roads designed to accommodate people of all ages and abilities, then these figures will not improve.

Organiser David Brennan said,

“This year Scotland will be hosting the Commonwealth Games, bringing some of the world’s top cyclists to race around the streets of Glasgow. Yet if those same riders were to venture out in Glasgow on the roads that I and others cycle on any other day of the year, they would be shocked at how little quality provision there is for people who chose to travel by bike. As a result I often feel that my safety is compromised and many potential cyclists are discouraged from starting at all.”

He continued,

We may have produced some great sporting cyclists as a nation but we’re a very long way from being a cycle-friendly country. We want to see a Scotland where anyone – from Sir Chris Hoy to my four-year-old daughter – can enjoy the freedom of getting about by bike if they wish, and not having to wait until the roads are closed to do so.”

Graeme Obree, who led the ride last year alongside the families of Audrey Fyfe and Andrew McNichol who were both killed on their bikes on the streets of Edinburgh, said,

“Pedal on Parliament are not asking for spending here, but an investment, so that young people can cycle freely and without fear. We want a network from our homes to our workplaces, our shops, and schools and everywhere we want to go. It’s an investment in the health of the nation.”

Starting to gather at Parliament (photo by Anthony Robson on flickr)
Starting to gather at Parliament (photo by Anthony Robson on flickr)

Investment in cycling and other forms of active travel has been shown to return up to 19 times the amount invested in reduced congestion and improved health and pollution levels. It also makes the roads safer for everyone, including drivers, and substantially improves lives and livelihoods, as the experiences of places as diverse as New York, Copenhagen and Seville have shown.

People of all ages cycling to Parliament (photo by Chris Hill on flickr)
People of all ages cycling to Parliament (photo by Chris Hill on flickr)

Pedal on Parliament believe that with proper funding and well-designed cycling infrastructure, Scotland can be a healthier, wealthier and above all happier place.


Pedal on Parliament’s eight-point manifesto asks for:

  1. Proper funding for cycling;
  2. Cycling to be designed into Scotland’s roads;
  3. Slower speeds where people live, work and play;
  4. Cycling to be integrated into local transport strategies;
  5. Improved road traffic law and enforcement;
  6. The risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians to be reduced;
  7. A strategic and joined-up programme of road user training; and,
  8. Improved statistics supporting decision-making and policy.
Side-by-side accessible tandem Pedal on Parliament (photo by Kim Harding on flickr)
Side-by-side accessible tandem Pedal on Parliament (photo by Kim Harding on flickr)

The first Pedal on Parliament on April 28 2012 brought 3000 people onto the streets of Edinburgh, and the second saw 4000 gather, including hundreds of kids.

Several children completed the 1.5 mile protest ride on balance bikes, with others on tagalongs, trailers, child seats, or pedalling alongside their parents. Cyclists rode in from as far afield as Aberdeen to join the event.

Directions to the starting place are on the PoP website HERE.

The website address for The Andrew Cyclist Charitable Trust is

People killed in Scotland whilst riding their bicycles in 2014:

  • George Fairley, 78, from Kirkliston killed 10am Sunday 16 February on B800 Kirkliston to South Queeensferry;
  • Grant Gourlay, 48, from Dundee killed 10:30am Wednesday 16 April on A926 between Maryton and Kirriemuir

The police are also seeking witnesses after a 33 year old woman was injured in a hit and run collision in the Liberton area of Edinburgh at 9:30am on 17 April – please see HERE.

Wall of Death – Thank yous

Donnachadh McCarthy writes…

Donnachadh McCarthy reveals the shocking information obtained through FOI requests sent to every London Borough.
Donnachadh McCarthy reveals the shocking information obtained through FOI requests sent to every London Borough.

Great success today everybody – loads of coverage for another vintage Stop Killing Cyclists protest!

Biggest thanks to everybody who contributed in loads of ways to Wall Of Death – especially to all of you who gave up your lunch-hours and held up the banner for a full hour.

It was a great privilege for us to have Debbie Dorling, the widow of Brian Dorling speak at the protest, despite the short notice.

Thanks to Will Nickell for his great FOI research,

Icame Isawi Steve for the Facebook page/images,

Abby Taubin for logistics,

Evey Allsopp for the moving bagpipe playing,

Harry for the PA system,

John Garthwaite for the stats backup,

Everybody who spread the word,

Mad Munk for his tweets,

Andrew Reeves-Hall for website wizardry,

David Fonseca for the placards.

Westminster Living Streets for endorsing and attending

Westminster Cyclists for promoting it

Apologies if I have missed anybody out!

We got buckets of coverage today and hopefully more tomorrow – so really worth it to keep the pressure up for our realisable goal of a wonderful modern safe cycling London.

Yes We Can!



Some of the media coverage is collated here:

Stop Killing Cyclists Halts Hateful Boasting by Crash Experts

A number of our supporters recently posted news articles about how a company called Wayman Forensic Expert Witnesses specialises in getting dangerous drivers off the hook in court and preventing insurance companies having to pay compensation to the victims.

This ‘expert’ opinion has included such excuses as the sun was in the driver’s eyes, or that it’s perfectly fine to overtake dangerously close to cyclists, contrary to the Highway Code.

On Friday we launched a polite but forceful internet campaign to stop them boasting on social media sites and elsewhere about how they win cases for their dangerous drivers at the expense of dead and maimed cyclists and pedestrians.

Supporters posted messages of condemnation on social media sites; other than a short-lived tweet about being “trolled”, Wayman did not directly respond to the concerns raised.


Wayman Twitter page, before it was removed

Wayman Twitter page, before it was removed

Within hours they had removed their Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as the long list of cases on their website.

Hopefully after this attention, Wayman Experts will review the effect their testimony has on the victims of road violence, and consider using their experience to ensure dangerous drivers are successfully prosecuted, not excused.

The problem is not just with one firm though.  The court system in the UK is not serving the victims of road collisions or their families; too often dangerous driving is excused by judges and juries.

That is why presumed liability is one of our demands to improve road safety.  This would place the default responsibility on the vehicle driver when there is a vehicle/pedestrian or vehicle/bicycle collision,  as implemented in most European countries.

Major National Event Announced

Oxford St flyer_revision

Timed to fall the weekend of the World Day Of Remembrance For Road Traffic Victims, Stop Killing Cyclists and Stop The Killing, together with campaigners from across the country, will hold a funeral procession along Oxford Street, which is often known as the nation’s high street.

It will be in keeping with the creative, respectful protests we are becoming known for and draw on the experiences of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, as well as those more widely affected by air pollution and climate crisis caused by vehicle emissions.

Watch our launch video.

Facebook Event page

Event press release, which includes our list of demands.

Details to follow on our DIRECT ACTION page.

Short film about TfL Mass Cyclist Die-In by Southeasy

Donnachadh McCarthy writes…

Some local south-east London young people made this short film about that amazing moving evening when Stop Killing Cyclists cyclists staged our first powerful, moving protest in front of TfL’s HQ.

It is hard to believe with all that has been happening since with the creation of Stop Killing Cyclists etc that it was less than two months ago since we organised it.

Thanks to everybody who helped make it happen and pitched in with all the actions that have resulted from it since.

Yes We Can!

Donnachadh & Icame Isawi Steve

Further information about the TfL die-in is HERE.

#TfLKillingTruth Internet Poster Blitz


At 8pm tonight, the 8th January 2014, please spread the “Subvertising” posters around the Internet by your favourite means – Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogs, …

  • See our original blog about this campaign by clicking HERE
  • See a collage of various posters and subvertisements by clicking HERE
  • See a press release by clicking HERE (pdf)

Below are some cut & paste texts that you can use to spread the message far and wide; they include the hashtags used by Twitter and Facebook to group things: #TflKillingTruth and #StopKillingCyclists — you can also use #StopTheKilling if a poster is not specifically cycling related.

Thank you to all the volunteers who took the time to create the subvertisements… Castel Burke, Charlotte Cox, Tom Kearney, Donnachadh McCarthy, Maggie Mizzi.


  • Right-click on the image to the left and save it to your computer
  • Copy and paste the tweet-friendly text on the right into Twitter (or Facebook etc)
  • Add in the image that you saved to your computer
  • Repeat!
Image to download Tweet to send, or Facebook etc posting
Subvertisement - TMK - Two London buses a day in crashes #TfLKillingTruth Two London buses a day are involved in crashes with cyclists and pedestrians
Subvertisement - CB - One person a day is killed #TfLKillingTruth 1 person a day is killed or seriously injured by a TfL bus #StopTheKilling
 Subvertisement - CC - Ghost bike #TfLKillingTruth Don’t wait for more to die, Boris @MayorOfLondon #StopKillingCyclists
 Subvertisement TMK8 - About 1200 people lying on the road in front of TfL HQ #TfLKillingTruth 2000+ killed or serioiusly injuried by TfL buses while Boris @MayorOfLondon
 Subvertisement TMK7 - NYC has vision zero #TfLKillingTruth #StopTheKilling #StopKillingCyclists
 Subvertisement TMK6 - Just another day on Europe's BUSiest shopping street #TfLKillingTruth #StopTheKilling #StopKillingCyclists
 Subvertisement TMK5 - I think I'm being watched #TfLKillingTruth #StopTheKilling #StopKillingCyclists
 Subvertisement TMK4 - And what's wrong with Zero #TfLKillingTruth #StopTheKilling #StopKillingCyclists
 Subvertisement TMK3 - So what are TfL buses doing Leon #TfLKillingTruth #StopTheKilling #StopKillingCyclists
 Subvertisement TMK2 - This HGV is lethal #TfLKillingTruth This HGV is lethal #StopTheKilling #StopKillingCyclists
 Subvertisement TMK1 - Why are TfL buses hitting vulnerable road users so often #TfLKillingTruth Why are TfL buses hitting vulnerable road users so often #StopTheKilling
 Subvertisement- DM - Real lanes not painted killing lanes #TfLKillingTruth Real lanes not painted killing lanes #StopKillingCyclists #StopTheKilling
 Subvertisement - MM - The view through rose-tinted specs #TfLKillingTruth #StopTheKilling #StopKillingCyclists
 Subvertisement - MM - Not just toxic #TfLKillingTruth #StopTheKilling #StopKillingCyclists
 Subvertisement - MM - London make it safe for cycling #TfLKillingTruth #StopTheKilling #StopKillingCyclists
 Subvertisement - MM - Extend your life #TfLKillingTruth #StopTheKilling #StopKillingCyclists
 Poster - TK - 44 per cent of pedestrian fatalities #TfLKillingTruth #StopTheKilling #StopKillingCyclists
 Poster - PH - Get killer trucks of our roads #TfLKillingTruth #StopTheKilling #StopKillingCyclists

Subvertisements #TfLKillingTruth – an Internet-based Poster Blitz

Click on the collage to see all the posters which are at the STOP THE KILLING website.
Click on the collage to see all the posters which are at the STOP THE KILLING website.

Our latest “event” for STOP KILLING CYCLISTS…

#TfLKillingTruth Internet Poster Blitz Protest

Start Time: Wednesday 8th January 2014, 8pm


After the recent spate of cycling tragedies, Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police Leadership instead of tackling the causes of the deaths and their killers, instead went on a destructive rampage of attacking cyclists and the Stop Killing Cyclists protests.

They shamefully blamed the cyclists for their own deaths and outrageously blamed our protests for discouraging people from cycling.

The police fined cyclists at a rate of 3,500% higher than drivers and not a single extra penny has been added to the cycling safety budget or a single extra junction proposed to be made safer since the killings, by Transport for London or the 32 Boroughs. TfL also produced a series of posters aimed at victims rather than the killers.

In response Stop Killing Cyclists are launching an Internet Poster Blitz .


Members of the Stop Killing Cyclists group on Facebook (HERE) have created an array of provocative posters, which will be launched on Wednesday evening at 8pm.

You can find them on the ‘Stop the killing’ website because not just people on bicycles are being killed on the roads – click

Stop Killing Cyclists members will then start emailing, twittering, Facebook sharing, Blog posting , web-siting etc etc the posters across the internet.

A number of these posters are sub-vertisements of the victim posters issued by TfL and are intended to criticise and transform the message into one of protest!

Our 15 demands include:

  • £600 million spent per annum on cycle safety by TfL;
  • 10% of the Boroughs transport budgets to be spent on cycling infrastructure;
  • 2 TfL Board members representing cycling; and,
  • A fully integrated segregated cycle network within 5 years.

Being able to cycle around London without fear of death is a human right for all age groups.

Please from Wednesday 8pm, start circulating these posters far and wide, so we can get our message heard! Please use the suggested hashtags like #TfLKillingTruth and #StopKillingCyclists

Many thanks
Donnachadh McCarthy
Steve Routley
Co-founders Stop Killing Cyclists

Andrew Gilligan Blasts Cycle Vigil and Die-In.

Donnachadh McCarthy writes…

When they start insulting us – you know we are beginning to win.

I was really impressed with the respectful and dignified manner in which Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at Transport for London responded to our Mass Die-In last night and had the courtesy to personally receive our list of demands.

He agreed to meet with a deputation from the protesters to discuss and listen to our demands.

Meanwhile instead of attending last night’s vigil, Boris Johnson’s £57,000 per year, 3 day week Cycling Commissioner Andrew Gilligan was sadly typing out a hateful poison pen-letter about the protesters.

Andrew Gilligan
Andrew Gilligan, London’s Cycling Commissioner, wrote an article about the #TfLDieIn on the London Assembly’s Talk London website.

If Andrew Gilligan had attended last night’s vigil himself instead of spending his time composing inflammatory attacks, then maybe he would have witnessed a moving, heartfelt plea from ordinary Londoners and would not have shamefully descended into name-calling, labelling  the amazing, dignified protesters “the folk in the skull masks”.
Continue reading Andrew Gilligan Blasts Cycle Vigil and Die-In.